Fall, delay, yellow flags cost Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo left in 14th place after an early fall, technical delay and yellow flags blighted his Friday afternoon in Catalunya.

Fabio Quartararo, 2024 Catalan MotoGP
Fabio Quartararo, 2024 Catalan MotoGP

While Alex Rins gained direct Qualifying 2 access on Friday at the Catalan MotoGP, Monster Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo’s afternoon was more complicated.

An early accident later contributed to the Frenchman missing ten crucial minutes as he waited for a change of chain length, while yellow flags then cost him a final shot at the top ten.

“We are happy for Alex that he got into Q2 at his home GP, which is where he should be,” said team director Massimo Meregalli. 

“[But] had it not been for Fabio's crash, delays in the box, and the late yellow flags, we think Fabio had the pace and speed to also be inside the top 10.”

The Frenchman, among seven fallers in the afternoon (Brad Binder and Fabio di Giannantonio crashed twice), said that the left side of the tyre was proving tricky to warm up despite the high track temperature.

Incidents and yellow flags aside, Quartararo felt he still cannot exploit the extra grip from new soft tyres and was left 14th (+0.790s).

“The pace was pretty good. But missing Q2 is not the best,” he said. “I can make ’39.6 on the pace, so why do I do [only] ‘39.3 on the time attack? This is something that I cannot understand.

“Alex, if you check the pace and the one lap, makes a big difference. But for us, no. Even in the test in Mugello the one lap was also a problem for us.  We have to analyse why.

“Of course, there is low fuel and that is what makes me gain [some] lap time. But I don't know why we cannot make a step like everyone else.”

Meanwhile, Quartararo praised the introduction of the new Yamaha aero as “a great decision” that helps when entering the corners. 

“But we are working on other areas that can make us win much more time," he added.

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